Monday, July 02, 2007


One of my favorite comic strips of recent months was the Fox Trot by Bill Amend that showed Jason building a web page for a school project. Prominent on the page was a blank box labeled "News". When asked why it was blank, he replied, "This is Web 2.0. If you want news, you write the news and then you can read it."

I see a huge correspondence between that bit of twisted logic and Wikipedia. Wikipedia sounded like a great idea: tap into all the expertise in the world by allowing anyone to write anything on any subject. The one thing missing from that idea, however, is a basic fact of human nature: people don't know what they don't know. I've found repeatedly that on just about any subject the Wikipedia article will be anywhere from biased to wildly inaccurate, as can be proved by doing some serious research elsewhere.

I was enthusiastic about Wikipedia myself, a while back, and shared some of my carefully researched information on some of its pages. Repeatedly, however, other people have proven to be, how shall I say, not as diligent in making sure their additions are of high quality. Some are outright vandals.

As of tonight, the page on Wikipedia closest to my heart has been made into such a mess that I don't even want to try to straighten it out. Why should I? Wikipedia is the butt of jokes more and more often and it's time I woke up to what it really is: a giant public restroom wall with delusions of grandeur. There are better ways to serve people on the internet than trying to make Wikipedia into something it cannot be.

What's more, with a site run by one responsible person, you can actually ask a question and get a reasonable answer. I think that's a pretty good service right there.

And I'd like to ask a question of you: how would you like to see me make my site better?


  1. Interesting site. I wish the DVD box thing wasn't so expensive because the only reason I really want to see it is to see the Lion King parallels.

    Also, Wikipedia is probably more accurate than the New York Post at least.

  2. Well, if you are not familiar with the show, the real investment would be your time, because the obvious parallel scenes and situations are distributed over the 52 episodes. (Considering the number of episodes, it's not all that expensive--and I was looking at it again today, marvelling at how great the restorations are.)

    As regards the New York Post, I've never read it so I can't compare it. It seems I've heard they have been first with some major stories, though. Wikipedia is written by anyone who has some time to spend at the keyboard--and more often than not the articles there have been way off base. Consider it a collection of popular opinions on a subject, not a source of real information.